SUBCHAPTER VI. CONDUCT OF PRIMARIES AND ELECTIONS.

Article 12.

Precincts and Voting Places.

163-128. Election precincts and voting places established or altered.

(a) Each county shall be divided into a convenient number of precincts for the purpose of voting. Upon a resolution adopted by the county board of elections and approved by the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections voters from a given precinct may be temporarily transferred, for the purpose of voting, to an adjacent precinct. Any such transfers shall be for the period of time equal only to the term of office of the county board of elections making such transfer. When such a resolution has been adopted by the county board of elections to assign voters from more than one precinct to the same precinct, then the county board of elections shall maintain separate registration and voting records, consistent with the procedure prescribed by the State Board of Elections, so as to properly identify the precinct in which such voters reside. The polling place for a precinct shall be located within the precinct or on a lot or tract adjoining the precinct.

Except as provided by Article 12A of this Chapter, the county board of elections shall have power from time to time, by resolution, to establish, alter, discontinue, or create such new election precincts or voting places as it may deem expedient. Upon adoption of a resolution establishing, altering, discontinuing, or creating a precinct or voting place, the board shall give 45 days' notice thereof prior to the next primary or election. Notice shall be given by advertisement in a newspaper having general circulation in the county, by posting a copy of the resolution at the courthouse door and at the office of the county board of elections, and by mailing a copy of the resolution to the chairman of every political party in the county. Notice may additionally be made on a radio or television station or both, but such notice shall be in addition to the newspaper and other required notice. No later than 30 days prior to the primary or election, the county board of elections shall mail a notice of precinct change to each registered voter who as a result of the change will be assigned to a different voting place.

(b) Each county board of elections shall prepare a map of the county on which the precinct boundaries are drawn or described, shall revise the map when boundaries are changed, and shall keep a copy of the current map on file and posted for public inspection at the office of the Board of Elections, and shall file a copy with the State Board of Elections. (Rev., s. 4313; 1913, c. 53; C.S., s. 5934; 1921, c. 180; 1933, c. 165, s. 3; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 570; 1973, c. 793, ss. 51-53; 1975, c. 798, s. 2; 1979, c. 785; 1981, c. 515, s. 1; 1985, c. 757, s. 205(b); 1989, c. 93, s. 4; c. 440, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 33; 1995, c. 423, s. 1; 2001-353, s. 2; 2006-264, s. 20.)

 

163-129. Structure at voting place; marking off limits of voting place.

At the voting place in each precinct established under the provisions of G.S. 163-128, the county board of elections shall provide or procure by lease or otherwise a suitable structure or part of a structure in which registration and voting may be conducted. To this end, the county board of elections shall be entitled to demand and use any school or other State, county, or municipal building, or a part thereof, or any other building, or a part thereof, which is supported or maintained, in whole or in part by or through tax revenues provided, however, that this section shall not be construed to permit any board of elections to demand and use any tax exempt church property for such purposes without the express consent of the individual church involved, for the purpose of conducting registration and voting for any primary or election, and it may require that the requisitioned premises, or a part thereof, be vacated for these purposes.

If a county board of elections requires that a tax-supported building be used as a voting place, that county board of elections may require that those in control of that building provide parking that is adequate for voters at the precinct, as determined by the county board of elections.

The county board of elections shall inspect each precinct voting place to ascertain how it should be arranged for voting purposes, and shall direct the chief judge and judges of any precinct to define the voting place by roping off the area or otherwise enclosing it or by marking its boundaries. The boundaries of the voting place shall at any point lie no more than 100 feet from each ballot box or voting machine. The space so roped off or enclosed or marked for the voting place may contain area both inside and outside the structure in which registration and voting are to take place. (1929, c. 164, s. 17; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 54; 1983, c. 411, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 34; 1999-426, s. 5(a).)

 

163-130. Satellite voting places.

A county board of elections by unanimous vote may, upon approval of a request submitted in writing to the State Board of Elections, establish a plan whereby elderly or disabled voters in a precinct may vote at designated sites within the precinct other than the regular voting place for that precinct. Any approval under this section is only effective for one year and shall be annually reviewed for extension. The State Board of Elections shall approve a county board's proposed plan if:

(1) All the satellite voting places to be used are listed in the county's written request;

(2) The plan will in the State Board's judgment overcome a barrier to voting by the elderly or disabled;

(3) Adequate security against fraud is provided for; and

(4) The plan does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 10; 2013-381, s. 26.1(a).)

 

163-130.1. Out-of-precinct voting places.

A county board of elections, by unanimous vote of all its members, may establish a voting place for a precinct that is located outside that precinct. The county board's proposal is subject to approval by the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections. The county board shall submit its proposal in writing to the Executive Director. Approval by the Executive Director of the county's proposed plan shall be conditioned upon the county board of elections' demonstrating that:

(1) No facilities adequate to serve as a voting place are located in the precinct;

(2) Adequate notification and publicity are provided to notify voters in the precinct of the new polling location;

(3) The plan does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation;

(4) The new voting place meets all requirements for voting places including accessibility for elderly and disabled voters; and

(5) The proposal provides adequately for security against fraud.

Any approval granted by the Executive Director for a voting place outside the precinct is effective only for one primary and election and must be reevaluated by the county board of elections and the Executive Director annually to determine whether it is still the only available alternative for that precinct. (1999-426, s. 3(a); 2001-319, ss. 3(a), 11.)

 

163-130.2. Temporary use of two voting places for certain precincts.

A county board of elections, by unanimous vote of all its members, may propose to designate two voting places to be used temporarily for the same precinct. The temporary designation of a voting place shall continue only for the term of office of the county board of elections making the designation. For any precinct that is temporarily given two voting places, the county board shall assign every voter to one or the other of those voting places.

The county board's proposal is subject to approval by the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections. The county board shall submit its proposal in writing to the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall approve that proposal only if it finds all of the following:

(1) That the precinct has more registered voters than can adequately be accommodated by any single potential voting place available for the precinct.

(2) That no boundary line that complies with Article 12A of this Chapter can be identified that adequately divides the precinct.

(3) That the county board can account for, by street address number, the location of every registered voter in the precinct and fix that voter's residence with certainty on a map.

(4) That no more than three other precincts in the same county will have two voting places.

(5) That both voting places for the precinct would have adequate facilities for the elderly and disabled.

(6) That the proposal provides adequately for security against fraud.

(7) That the proposal does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation.

The county board shall designate a full set of precinct officials, in the manner set forth in Article 5 of this Chapter, for each voting place designated for the precinct. (1999-426, s. 4(a); 2001-319, ss. 4(a), 4(b), 11.)

 

163-131. Accessible polling places.

(a) The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules to assure that any disabled or elderly voter assigned to an inaccessible polling place, upon advance request of such voter, will be assigned to an accessible polling place. Such rules should allow the request to be made in advance of the day of the election.

(b) Words in this section have the meanings prescribed by P.L. 98-435, except that the term "disabled" in this section has the same meaning as "handicapped" in P.L. 98-435. (1999-424, s. 3(b).)

 

163-132. Reserved for future codification purposes.